Forest School

North Marston C of E School Outdoor Curriculum Statement

 

Intent

At North Marston C of E School, we believe that all children have the right to experience the unique and special nature of being outdoors. We believe through skilled teaching, outdoor experiences readily become a stimulating source of fascination, personal growth and can lead to breakthroughs in learning. In research studies, there is evidence it can raise learners’ attainment, promote and strengthen communication skills, team work and sense of cohesion.  At North Marston, we believe that active learning develops the learning skills of enquiry, experiment, feedback, reflection, review, communication, problem solving, an enterprising attitude and cooperative learning. We believe that outdoor learning can provide for our children:

  • higher levels of knowledge and skills
  • improve their physical health and increase their motor abilities
  • socialise and interact in new and different ways with their peers and adults
  • show improved attention and enhanced self-concept, self-esteem and mental health
  • change their environmental behaviours and their values and attitudes

 

Implementation

Outdoor learning will incorporate all the skills that are practiced within the classroom and reflected outside through cross curricular links. In North Marston C of E school, outdoor learning will be provided within a safe and secure environment where children can take risks and take ownership of their learning. We will ensure that our outdoor learning provides resources that are flexible and versatile, where children can choose and create that support and meet the needs of individuals. It will enable children to appreciate the beauty of nature; encouraging children to use a variety of natural resources to use within their learning. Our outdoor learning could take the form of working individually and co – operatively. It will give the children the opportunity to find a quiet space to relax and enjoy the sense of wellbeing it brings. Outdoor learning at North Marston C of E school also gives the opportunity to encourage children to care and respect their environment and to take responsibility for the care of the outside environment and living things.

We ensure that there will be a balance of learning through each topic and plan for outdoor learning to offer experiences which have meaning to them and that can be led by the child. In Early Years, children will access the outside area as much as possible through the seasons, so the children can fully experience the seasonal changes around them and develop their gross and fine motor skills. Here, the children will explore the outdoors and embed the skills they have learnt within the classroom. Children in Early Years and KS1 have the opportunity for weekly forest school experience to take their learning from the curriculum outside and explore their knowledge further.

Impact

The impact of our outdoor learning curriculum is to enable children to be confident individuals and impact positively upon young children’s attitudes beliefs and self-perceptions. Our outdoor learning contributes towards creating independent learners with high self-esteem and self-sufficiency. It has a positive impact upon children’s behaviour and contributes towards the promotion and children’s understanding of the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle. We believe our outdoor learning curriculum has a positive impact upon children’s personal and social development. It can also bring about community cohesion and allow children to develop as responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to their wider community.